Creativity on show at Malvern Festival of Innovation

Businesses need to be more creative with their products and services if they are to compete with the rest of the world.

This will be one of the messages highlighted at the Malvern Festival of Innovation between Tuesday, 6 October and Sunday, 11 October, and this year is headline sponsored by Cisco, IDS INDATA and QinetiQ.

A key theme, which will be explored on Friday, 9 October at the Malvern Theatres, is cyber security.  Businesses, organisations and the public are facing an increasing threat from cyber criminals targeting them through social media, malicious software and information they are leaving online.  As the world becomes more connected, security becomes the number one priority.  This is one of the warnings that will be spelt out by Phil Smith, Chief Executive of Cisco UK and Ireland.

Thursday, October 8 will see the Three Counties Showground host a day focusing on the importance of new ways of thinking when designing systems or products. There will also be information for budding entrepreneurs on how to start, grow and finance a business, as well as the opportunity to pitch ideas to an expert panel in a bid to raise finance or secure help and expertise.  This symposium will run alongside the Business Expo, organised by the region's Chamber of Commerce.

The use of robotics in agriculture, drones for land management and the rise of the Internet of Things in farming will be among the topics discussed as part of an agri-tech day on Wednesday, 7 October at Malvern Theatres.  Automation and the use of high technology in this age-old industry are paramount if the world is to address the need for sustainable food production and a safe, reliable water supply.

On Saturday, October 10 a family fun day is being held at Malvern Theatres featuring a comedy on particle physics, a talk about the challenges of trying to build a star on earth as a useful future energy supply and a series of demonstrations from various companies and organisations.

The event ends on Sunday, October 11 in Priory Park with a showcase of the current and future fleet of electric cars as well as giving people the chance to ask questions of the experts.

The festival is being organised by the social enterprise Innovate Malvern CIC, supported by Malvern Hills District Council and with additional support from numerous sponsors.  As a result, many of the events during the festival are free to attend and open to all.

Dr Adrian Burden, founder and curator of the festival, said: "Today, more than ever, we all need to innovate. We need new ideas to stay competitive in business, new technologies to improve our lives, and we must be creative in how we use resources. This festival is a fantastic opportunity for businesses and the public to find out what's coming next and how others are innovating."

Visit for the full line up. Also follow Twitter @festivalofinnov and use the hashtag #InnovateMalvern